As India is heading closer to the Lok Sabha election 2024, two sets of issues are being brought forward before the people of the country. BJP and AIMIM are harping on Hindu and Muslim communalism respectively, the former seems pushing the corruption issue against the INDIA alliance leaders in the rear. INDIA alliance, on the other, is trying to bring rising inequality in the country in focus as a top issue which is the cumulative effect of many things, including crony capitalism, unemployment, social injustice, and price rise.
It is well known by now how PM Narendra Modi, who will be seeking for third term for himself and the BJP, has been trying to tell the Hindu majority electorates that their religion ‘Sanatan Dharm’ is threatened of “eradication” under the “hidden” agenda of the INDIA alliance.
Only a month ago, it seemed that corruption could emerge as top issue, but now it seems occupying rear seats while giving space for two other issues – Communalism and Inequality. PM Modi had been saying earlier that INDIA alliance was a pack of “corrupt” politicians and his government would take actions against them. INDIA alliance leaders on the other hand raising corruptions under PM Modi rule, which were well documented by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, and several other national and international institutions. The opposition even demanded Joint Parliamentary Committee probe involving PM Narendra Modi and his friend Gautam Adani in corruption issues. After campaigns and countercampaigns from the both sides – the issue of corruption seems to be relegated in the rear.
Not only PM Narendra Modi and RSS-BJP clan has now been shouting and projecting their view that Hindus are under “hidden agenda” of “eradication” by the INDIA alliance political parties, but are trying to champion Hindu religious cause by using symbolical words in naming and renaming places, institutions, laws, etc that catch the imagination of Hindu majority electorate.
If Hindu majoritarian appeasement and terrorising them into submission to the BJP line is the way of RSS-BJP campaign, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi is not far behind in his politics of Muslim minority appeasement and terrorising them by saying his perceived threat to his community. Both are incorrect, since they wrongly and exaggeratingly equate the certain challenges faced by both the communities as threat of neutralisation. However, BJP and AIMIM’s politics and campaigns are moving ahead on their communal lines. Owaisi has said that Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and Secretariat’s mosque in Hyderabad were demolished under the Congress rule.
Owaisi was obviously replying to the utterance of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who has said in a Telangana rally that BJP, BRS, and AIMIM were working in unison, and that his party was fighting against this troika. He implied that they were helping each other in elections with their communal campaigns.
In a event organized on Sunday in Delhi, the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused BJP of indulging in “diversion tactics” from the real issues the people are facing in this county, and he claimed that the saffron party was in for surprise in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Main issues in India are very simple, they are: huge inequality in wealth, massive unemployment, huge unfairness towards lower caste, OBC, tribal community, and price rise, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on September 24 in a Delhi event, adding that BJP can’t contest those, and hence resorting to distractions. “We know it, we understand it, but we are not going to let them do it.”
Until now, barring a few political leaders of the opposition, everyone seems to be careful about that and they are not letting the communal campaigns overshadow their own political narrative revolving round rising inequality, massive unemployment, social injustice to OBC, SC, and ST people, and the price rise.
Rahul Gandhi even referred to the PM Modi’s move “One Nation, One Election”, the India vs Bharat debate, BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s derogatory remarks against BSP MP Danish Ali, and such and said that they were all saffron party’s “diversion tactics” from the real issues.
Inequality has now come to hurt everyone, barring the few chosen by the PM Narendra Modi led government, or how can one explain the on 20 big companies in India are bagging 60 per cent of entire earning and 70 per cent profit of the entire country? Inequality has many dimensions, which is reflected in the fact that about 97.3 crore people out of 142 crore population are unable to even afford healthy food, as the latest World Bank atlas has brought the figure. Large number of children are stunting and wasting, and majority of women continue to be anaemic, precisely because of unaffordability and unavailability of healthy food. It is a burning issue for women, because they feel the crisis most. RSS-BJP clan, therefore, felt urgent need to appease women of this country and hence PM Modi was compelled to bring Women’s Reservation.
RSS-BJP has planned to campaign around Women’s Reservation in a big way. However, the problem is with its implementation which may not see light of the day until 2039. Modi government has promised to implement it in 2029. However, the issue of social justice relating to OBC reservation is likely to come in the way of its implementation apart from the trick of the government to link it to the delimitation and census, which shows that the ruling BJP was not actually intending to implement it immediately. Even BJP leader Uma Bharati has said that the law would not be allowed to be implemented until the anomalies in the law are removed.
“It can be implemented tomorrow morning, it’s very simple and there is nothing more to it. If the BJP was serious about doing it, that’s what they would do and there is no connection between giving women reservation and census and delimitation. They are not connected and it’s a distraction,” Rahul Gandhi has said.
Both the set of emerging campaign issues are already heard in the five poll bound states – Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana. The BJP’s “politics of hatred” is being challenged by the opposition politics on “real issues confronting the people” in all the states, where the chief opposition is Congress. Rahul Gandhi’s claim that Congress is going to win Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and will make through in Rajasthan, and perhaps in Telangana, shows their upbeat morale on their campaign revolving around real issue of the people. Leaders of the BJP are just betraying their fear of losing the electoral battle by raking the communal issues as diversionary tactics. Only the election results would show which campaign finally succeeds and that may bring some surprise. (IPA Service)